Surviving Monsters is a collection of posts to do with ideas, stories and creative problems.
"Marginal Scribbling" is a collection of my poetry.
My writing and my art can be found on www.ruthhartley.com
As well as on Facebook at Ruth Hartley- Author
A troubled writer's responsibility.
A writer's troubling responsibility.
Or simply a troubled person – me!
Many questions are tumbling around
in my troubled mind at the moment.
I chose to write in the context of a
particular place and about a particular time in history.
What was I trying to do? Why write
about that historical context.
My current business card quotes
Camile Paglia -
“Emotion is chaos. Art is
I write, draw and tell stories to
find meaning and order but only of a sort – it is always
conditional and compromised. There are no laws to be laid down –
the bedrock crumbles -
Writers write because they are
writers – to tell a story - to communicate and to share. The story
starts us on a journey – or a quest with an end. No matter how
inconclusive the ending of the book may be - the book – or the
story comes to a stop.
My story is about the people who are
left out of history and are not considered important. They are not
fashionable and did not do or shape anything that was world-changing.
They are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some of them are
white. In the context of the time that may make them doubly wrong –
or does it? It is what happened at that time and in that place. To
quote Shakespeare's Hamlet.
“The time is out of joint. O
ever I was born to set it right!”
But the time remains always out of
joint and everyone always has to work to set it right.
It is hubris to imagine that
anything I wrote might have an effect on a current event. I suppose
that very successful writers may be able to create trends but I doubt
that is the reason why they write.
It is even more ridiculous to feel
responsible for compromising events and places by writing about them
when they were already compromised.
It is ridiculous to feel that the
danger to Kariba Dam now openly acknowledged, is made worse by the
unplanned coincidence of the publication of my book. This is
superstition and fantasy but writers do feel responsible and are made
responsible and are punished for what they write. Messengers are
shot. Harbingers of ill-luck are unlucky. Swallows are responsible for spring and
one magpie is responsible for sorrow.
The characters in my novel discuss
the dam and its potential for disaster. As their creator I feel
appalled at the latest news about Kariba Dam even though the latest
news is in fact old news and has been known for a long time.
I trust that solutions will be found
and the catastrophe averted. The builders knew that they could not
claim that the dam would last forever.